Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB

Eric Ernest 2011-07-20
79 Good
Price: Rs 4,600

Full Review

The Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB (model number ST2000DL003) is the successor to the Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB (Low-Power). Like its predecessor, the Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB also spins at the unique speed of 5900 RPM. That's pretty much where similarities end. The Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB hard drive features a SATA 6Gbps interface and a 64MB cache. So the specs seem to look impressive on paper.

Seagate has opted for the 'Green' nomenclature used by its rivals, to signify to buyers that this model is positioned to compete in the 'eco-friendly' segment. It is interesting to note that the hard drive still bears the "Barracuda LP" name on its sticker.

Design and Specifications
The Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB is a standard desktop HDD with a 3.5 inch form factor. The hard drive features the standard SATA power and data connectors.

It comes with 64MB of cache and a standard SATA 6Gbps interface. It spins at 5900 RPM and offers 1863 GB of usable space. As per specifications, power usage statistics are as follows: 4.5W at idle and an average of 5.8W during operation.

Seagate offers a three-year warranty for their product. More details can be found on this review's "Specifications" page or on Seagate's product page for the drive.

The Seagate Green 2TB has three platters (with six heads), one platter less than the Seagate LP 2TB - which had to use four platters to achieve the same storage capacity. Rivals such as the Western Digital Caviar Green and the Samsung Spinpoint F4EG (EcoGreen) 2TB, also use three platters. This is a good thing, as it indicates the areal density of hard drives continue to increase, allowing for expectations of higher capacity in a single drive in the future.

When the drive was in operation, it was almost inaudible, and the drive vibration was low, as expected. Under heavy use, the hard disk barely felt warm to the touch.

We ran synthetic benchmarks and real world tests using the fastest PC components at hand, to remove most bottlenecks that hold back performance. The test-bed consisted of an Intel Core i7 965 processor, Intel DX58SO motherboard, AMD Radeon 5970 graphics card, Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, 12 GB of Silicon Power DDR3 RAM in triple channel, Tagan BZ-1300W PSU and Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit edition.

While running synthetic tests, we measured a read speed average of 110.4 MB/s, and write speed average of 72.2 MB/s. Read and write access times averaged 14.2 ms and 14.7 ms (milliseconds) respectively.

Real world file write speeds stood at 105.2 MB/s for a single large file (6.83 GB), but fell to 55.3 MB/s when writing multiple tiny files (86,688 files totalling up to 3.25 GB). The speed seen while transferring the smaller files was expected as we used tiny files for a fairly intensive test. Real world read speeds were recorded at 105.6 MB/s for large files, and at 76.6 MB/s for copying multiple smaller files. Transferring a single big file (6.83 GB) from the first partition to a second on the same drive could be done at 32 MB/s.

The performance of the Barracuda Green 2 Terabyte was comparable to the Barracuda XT 2TB, both of which use the 6Gb/s interface. Consider that the Barracuda XT spins faster (at 7200rpm) than the Barracuda Green hard disk drive, this is a good thing.

Below are screenshots of some of the benchmarks conducted during testing. Note that performance recorded by different synthetic benchmark tools can sharply differ and is normal.

Read and Write, Crystal DiskMark.

Read and Write Graphs from HD Tune Pro.

Read and Write, HD Tach RW (Quick Run)

Given the higher areal density, we were expecting better performance in this benchmark. However, the results had us rather confused. Notice how the HD Tach RW graph above shows drastic fluctuations for write speeds. It has to be pointed out that we had the latest firmware available on the Seagate website. To be sure, we tested the drive with both, SATA 3Gbps and SATA 6Gbps ports on the motherboard. This strange behaviour might be related to Seagate's SmartAlign, being used to transition to AF4K.

Read and Write, HD Tach RW (Full Run)

However as the above HD Tach RW graph shows, results with the Full Run were more consistent, without major fluctuations. So it's safe to say that the fluctuations seen above are not a major concern, especially since real world tests did not get affected.

As with other drives featuring the SATA 6Gbps interface, this drive doesn't make use of the potential of the SATA 6Gb/s. So this is more of a cosmetic feature. I guess the only advantage with this feature is that you get to gloat about "having the SATA 6 Gbps".

Bottom Line

We anticipated this drive to give lower performance than it actually did. It was a pleasant surprise to note that the Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB performed almost on par with its performance-oriented cousin from the Barracuda XT series. This is a very good indicator of where the drive stands. Coupled with its competitive price, and orientation towards low noise/heat, this drive becomes a tempting buy.

If you're looking to bulk up on storage space for your data needs, this is the drive to buy.

Other Similar Reviews
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Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB
Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB
Samsung SpinPoint MT2 1TB

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